Chapter 5: The fierce mouth pierces through(1)
An Yan was very fond of Aunt Rong who treated her well. Perhaps it was because Aunt Rong was her mother’s sister, but in An Yan’s heart, she really liked Aunt Rong. Whenever Aunt Rong had something nice to eat, she would think of An Yan. Moreover, An Yan stored the food that Aunt Rong gave her and took quite some time to finish them as she was reluctant to eat it.
While An Yan thought about how well Aunt Rong treated her, there was also Aunt Lin that was like a haunting spectre that refused to stop hovering around her.
When she thought of Aunt Lin, she shook her head to clear her thoughts and erase the image of Aunt Lin from her mind. She exhaled deeply and walked up to the door.
Outside the door, her seventh sister, An Xi, was still knocking hard, hoping her Yan jiejie would come and open the door.
But An Yan did not intend to let An Xi come in. Instead, she went to get a chair and placed it against the door to prevent it from being opened. In any case, she wasn’t prepared to go out today.
She thought of the gifts for her sisters that she had asked nanny Fang deliver. Aunt Rong also gave her some nice snacks. She was lost in her thoughts for a while before she noticed the chill. She started a coal fire and her room began to warm up. Why bother with the celebrations outside?
“Yan jiejie! Yan jiejie! Please open the door! Xi-er has brought Yan jiejie many good things to eat. I have cassia cakes, crystal dumplings and even sweet beans.”
Stuck outside the door, An Xi was still knocking on the door. Her childish voice was really pleasant to hear; it was the sound of a young lady that was a bit spoilt and, currently, extremely aggrieved. An Yan felt that, if one felt slighted or aggrieved, then that person can just go away. How did any of this concern her?
An Yan massaged her neck as she sat down on the chair next to the table. She had sprained her neck a few nights ago while working to make the small wooden boxes. This morning she had gotten up so early so she could go to her sisters and give them her gifts. She had wanted to boldly go outside to the places with many people. And now she wanted to go outside to get herself a cup of water. But here she was, sitting timidly inside, not daring to take a single step outside.
As the tea water also did not boil[1: It can also mean that this was a sore topic for her], she sighed.
An Yan picked up the teapot and walked to the door.
In order to avoid An Xi these past few years, she had built a small door at the back of her small courtyard. She was small and wasn’t that strong so she had no need for a big door. Instead, she had a small one that she could fit through if she bent low till her waist.
Her small courtyard had a small furnace for boiling water, a well, and a small vegetable garden in front. She absolutely did not want to open the door and be annoyed by the chirping small birds that would enter her house.
Outside, An Xi was still calling for her, until she finally gave up. Instead, she sat at the door with a pout, waiting for An Yan to open the door. She had a parcel wrapped in oil paper, the contents of which were pastry snacks taken from the banquet that she had wanted to bring to her sister Yan.
Even though An Yan was not opening the door for her and made her a little upset, she still sat there quietly. She knew that, in the end, her Yan jiejie would finally open the door and let her in.
Her hair was tied in two small topknots and her small and tender face was a little red. The tip of her nose was flushed due to the cold and she wore a very thick jacket to block the chill from piercing through. This seventh Miss An Xi lived a better life as compared to An Yan.
An Xi’s maid had been left behind outside the courtyard because she knew An Yan had no servant with her.
While An Xi knew that An Yan had no servants, she did not know that An Yan herself had chased away each servant assigned to her. This was because she could also live very well without those servants, who only cowered in fright upon seeing the poisonous daughter. It was better for her to be alone.
An Yan went around her courtyard to a smaller one nearby. This was a place where the upper maids of the household could rest. That courtyard also had a small well where she could get water. Currently, all the servants and maids of that courtyard had gone to the main courtyard, so it was empty at this time.